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The Wishing Map
Chapter Eleven: …and Found (Continued)
Previously: Zack continued to search for his sister Gina, while she herself sought the help of a haughty pixie princess…
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It had taken awhile for Gina’s eyes to adjust to the darkness of the cave; there were twin torches burning near the sides of her head that provided exactly as much light as two matches. It had taken even longer for her to comprehend what was happening:
The pixie who’d promised to lead her to the Sacred Circle had suggested Gina hoist her up onto her shoulder so they could make better traveling time. They’d walked for some while with no conversation except the pixie’s directions: “Turn left at the yellow gelffrond…go right after the three white stones…” Her guide could have made some effort to converse, couldn’t she? And was it just Gina’s imagination, or did the pixie girl—Gina couldn’t remember her name—seem angry about something? No, more than angry. Seething.
They reached the entrance to a cave, and the pixie told Gina to go inside.
“But there weren’t any caves near the Sacred Circle.” Gina said. “Why would we have to go through a cave?” While she stood waiting for an answer, the little pixie began to speak in a strange language:
A moment later, Gina felt something plop onto her opposite shoulder. “Um, hey, how can you be on the other side of my head when…?”
“What?” Gina felt a sharp sting at the base of her neck.
That was the last thing she remembered. And now she was lying in semi-darkness. “Um, hello? I’m sorry I don’t know your name. Did I fall asleep or—oh, crap! Ow! Wait, what’s…?” The moment she moved, she noticed two things: first, there was a throbbing in her neck that grew sharper when she tried to lift her arms; second, she couldn’t lift her arms anyway because something was holding them down, as well as her feet. Something very thin, and yet remarkably strong. “Hey, um, pixie? Hello? Could you maybe—“
“I am here, Queen J’nah. I am called Feyrdú.”
The words were polite, but there was a steely malevolence to her tone. What was it Rhema called the pixies, “barbaric?” Talk to her and everything will be OK. Just don’t freak out. Don’t freak out! “So, um, cool. Well, listen, Feyrdú, I was thinking maybe—”
”I have brought my friends Seesquee and Heesnog.”
“Oh, well…hey, that’s great. So maybe we could have a party…only I’m tied down…which is really funny, hah-hah…” The chuckle was unconvincing. “But, you know, the joke is over now, so maybe you can untie me and we can all laugh about…”
She felt a weight, as though something were climbing up onto her chin, and then, by the light of the two match-sized torches, could just make out Feyrdú standing on her upturned jaw. The pixie girl stepped forward, sat down on her nose, and before Gina could say another word, whispered, “Soo-squee-see-too-mee.”
Two black widows, their bulbous bodies gleaming like oiled vinyl, climbed up the sides of Gina’s face and settled onto her cheeks.
They were the size of softballs.
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Thoughts: Have you ever found yourself in imminent danger–after having offended an unstable or violent person–with nothing but your wits to save you?
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